Is the Past Our Future?


Man’s cognisance is yearning to move back towards the peaceful and serene environment of the past, away from the technomania of modern times. 

The difficulties of the modern era seem to play with the sentiments and liberty of the masses, as in Congo, a day after the presidential elections on 31 December 2018, there was an internet blackout. Voters were full of doubts regarding the results. The government accused Radio France Internationale (RFI) of adding fuel to the fire and thus turned it off on 2 January 2019.

Somehow, somewhere, people are longing to live in a less complex society than the one carved out of mechanisation, mass expansion and the breakdown of joint family households. The latest illustration of cognition swaying towards conservatism, away from the modern liberalist ideologies is that of the newly elected president Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, as he is said to be an admirer of Brazil’s military dictatorship of 1964-85 and has a conservative mindset.

Following the same anti-modern wave of humanity, governments of advanced countries are presently promoting climate friendly practices by encouraging builders to construct new structures to zero-carbon standards. The public sector buildings in the European Union are to be constructed to nearly zero-carbon standards from 1 January 2019. Every other structure will follow in January 2021. Governments of eight other countries are being persuaded to present a comparative strategy. Wooden houses are being promoted to counter the problem of carbon emissions as cement manufacturing is responsible for 6% of carbon emissions, while steelmaking accounts for another 8%. We might soon find ourselves living in houses similar to those of our early ancestors.

Looking at the bigger picture, the way minds are being strongly influenced by the thought of moving back in time, there arises a possibility that people might start to ponder more on the need for religion, and, in return, come back from the fantasies of materialism into the domain of peace and ultimately in the merciful arms of God. 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, the worldwide head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and the fifth successor of the Promised Messiahas, emphasising the need for religion in the concluding address of Jalsa Salana UK 2014, stated:

“Scientific devices and inventions such as chemical weapons lead to widespread devastation and nothing else. Stretching the figure as much as possible he [Steve Wells, a critic] has reached the figure of 25 million deaths, which he attributes to religion. Did the death toll of just the Second World War alone not cross his mind? It was the scientific machinery, equipment and inventions that resulted in approximately 60 to 70 million deaths, including innocent women and children. Entire cities were reduced to piles of ashes. Was this a religious war?

“Religion does not kill, it only warns and admonishes people that they must establish peace and security – at least this is the teaching of our religion. Its every injunction is laced with sentiments of love and compassion for all mankind. The Quran has informed us that every prophet brought the same message, which is that cruelty, injustice, oppression and persecution should be eliminated. The prophets admonished people to, instead, adopt love and sympathy for one another, or otherwise face God’s punishment. God says in the Quran that He is slow to punish people and is not hasty in unfurling His wrath. Even when punishment is meted out, it is for the purpose of bringing about reformation.”

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